I didn't get a return offer, now what?

Interned at (JPM/GS/MS) at a great group with great deal flow, people and culture but didn't get the return offer. Some seniors are trying to pull something together to see if I can get a job at the bank still, but it won't be in this group. There's a thread on 'no return offer success stories,' but I truly don't know what the next steps are.

Any ideas? Advice?

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Comments (40)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 7, 2021 - 1:56am

Step 1: cry. I'm not trying to be a jerk, we (including myself) all had to experience it. It's sad and hurts, but you need to accept it and overcome.

Step 2: figure out what went wrong. How can you improve and fix for the next interview/job

Step 3: Fix your issues and kill those interviews. Network, reach out to your campus recruiters and other people.

Step 4: laugh about it after you nail that interview and get that job offer. Might take a month, but trust me, it's going to happen.

Good luck!!!

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 7, 2021 - 2:00pm

Please do! Trust me, we all want you to succeed.

FYI, leverage the internship. Look at other BB, and you should be able to land on your feet pretty easily. When they inevitably ask why you didn't get the offer, you can say the group didn't have spots and the group you could go to was not one you would fit well with.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2021 - 2:13am

The part about pulling together to get you a job in another group is just them trying to make you not feel as bad. No return offer to full time is doable but just takes a lot more time. Don't get bummed out by your classmates talking about how they are going back to their firms next summer, mental health will decide whether you get a FT offer.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2021 - 12:01pm

That it's possible to get a full-time offer without getting a return offer and that mental health will ultimately decide that. If you stay bummed out from not getting a return offer, it's going to make it 10x harder to recruit and perform in interviews.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 7, 2021 - 10:25am

Coming from my own personal experience: 

Didn't receive a return offer, legit cried for longer than people on this forum. Felt down for 1-2 whole weeks, unmotivated to do much. Networked across the EB's / BB's and learned many groups weren't hiring (this was Aug 2020), and felt so lost.

The honest answer is keep your head up and keep networking. It sounds cliche and trust me, the last thing you want to hear, especially when everyone you network with says "don't worry, it'll all work out." But the honest truth is you literally need to speak with as many people as you can.

When opportunities come up and you see them on Linkedin, etc... you will have an immediate contact with the person who you previously networked with and, it'll help with landing the interview.

My biggest advice to you is to keep your head up. We've all been in crappy situations before, but trust in your abilities to get it done. Best of luck mate... hope it all works out. Please keep us posted. 

Aug 7, 2021 - 1:58pm

Thank you for sharing your experiences; your post is really helpful for putting together an action plan. Do you remember what the timelines looked like for openings to pop up when you were recruiting? Is the season beginning or ending, if you don't mind the question?

  • Associate 1 in HF - Other
Aug 7, 2021 - 11:46am

Spend 1-2 weeks to reflect on what you fucked up during the SA stint.

Prep for FT recruiting with other BB/EB/even MM. Aggressive networking.

Contigency plans, regional boutiques, big 4 TAS.

Aug 7, 2021 - 1:46pm

It seems I have to wait two days since I'm on a new account to initiate PMs. Would you be willing to send me the DM? I don't mind waiting two days as well.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 7, 2021 - 1:23pm

in the same boat here, gotta keep aggressively networking. Keep your head up king/queen

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2021 - 1:46pm

The good news this year is a ton of banks are running FT processes because of headcount needs. My bank never runs a FT process but is this year. I'm seeing tons of FT 2022 job postings.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 9, 2021 - 8:43pm

Hey, can completely understand how tough it must be - the same thing happened to me where I felt like I was doing a great job working across different tasks etc but still didn't end up getting the return. My experience was slightly different, but I'll explain it briefly here in case it helps you / someone else reading this in a similar position.

On reflection, if I'm being blunt, I don't think I did a great job in the internship. I made careless errors (missing things like failing to adjust graphs to not cut off the data, forgetting to turn some of the comments in a list of comments, asking questions that could have been addressed with a Google search - things of that nature) that led to me not getting the return offer. The positive feedback was that I had a brilliant commercial understanding and the team was very impressed with the quality of my work. The positive feedback sucked if anything because it felt like it wasn't enough if they were still unable to give me an offer.

Nonetheless, as others have said, I took some time to just let it all out. Went on a trip with some friends and just went crazy for a few days, and came back with a clear head. It was tough, but I tapped into every good connection I had, just to reach out and explain the situation but not directly ask for anything. Through this, I got put in the process for a few BB/EB/Boutiques (more on the boutique side as opposed to BB - but that isn't a bad thing).

Every interviewer asked the same things about why I didn't convert. My advice here is to not beat around the bush - I was completely upfront with the fact that I had areas to work on, listing specific examples of what my feedback was. More importantly, I explained the steps I took to address those issues. I had the privilege of working a job over the term where I was able to put the advice to use, so I explained it from that context. Things like printing out pages before turning to check through, doing a quick search before raising a question, creating a log of errors I've made in the past as to not repeat them etc. Once I stepped through this and emphasised the positive feedback around commerciality / bigger picture understanding of the job, no place stayed fixated on it and the interview process went as you'd expect.

Now, I'm in a great spot at my current firm, with really positive feedback on the minutia of the job along with that broader commercial aspect. I certainly didn't feel great reading threads saying that it's hopeless if you don't get a return - I absolutely disagree if you're willing to put in the effort to address any issues. I'd say most people that had to hustle to get into banking will put in the effort to do this.

Aug 9, 2021 - 9:05pm

Thank you for this comment. I've taken a few days to readjust and yeah, it's definitely a mental thing. Not an easy path ahead, but many have seen it through. I've gotten the chance to speak to some who have been in this boat and come out successful say the same thing you do: this can be overcome, but you need to grind. 

Thanks again.

Aug 27, 2021 - 3:31am

Hi, in the same boat here and quite distressed. Thank you for your comment, puts alot of things in perspective. Could you give any advice on how to look for FT position openings, job postings etc.? Is networking the best way for FT recruiting?


Oct 10, 2021 - 10:47pm

So, bumping with news. The unfortunate news is that while I was able to get interviews with some amazing firms, I wasn't able to convert to a FT role in banking.  Really grateful to the help the other poster offered with his EB

That said, I've always been open minded to what alternative careers could look like and was never fixated on being in IB - even BB IB. This meant during recruiting I also applied to roles in consulting/CorpStrat/tech/AM and to FLDPs/etc. As a result, I was able to land a role in CorpStrat for FT, thankfully.

Overall, I'm really happy with where I placed. Good BSchool exits, people, pay, location, "prestige," and experience. It hits all the boxes I needed and wanted. Not sure where it'll lead down the line, but I'm happy.

My recommendation to anyone in a similar boat is to stay open minded, and if you've got the benefit of "investment banking summer analyst," on your resume….leverage that. MBB & T2 consulting firms are certainly open to poaching talent from banks. So are other great roles and opportunities. Cast your net wide and see what your options really look like.

You have skills, a great resume and firms in PE/AM/non-finance are honestly much more open minded to taking you on than you might initially suspect. 

Oct 12, 2021 - 4:42pm

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